nothing quite says Christmas than a beautifully decorated tree
As December hits, Christmas is officially on our doorstep and it’s time to get into the festive spirit.
And nothing quite says Christmas than a beautifully decorated tree.
With glittering snowflakes and shiny baubles and metres of fairy lights, Christmas tree decoration is an art in itself.
Even British Asians have been jumping onto the Christmas bandwagon and decorating their homes, exchanging gifts and spending time with their families during the holiday period.
And Desis being Desis, the contest to show off the most lavish Xmas decorations in all the land is a growing trend.
On average, the UK uses 8 million real Christmas trees each year, and the first two weekends of December are the busiest for tree shoppers.
But figuring out what kind of tree to buy, real or artificial, big or small, can be a hassle for inexperienced buyers.
DESIblitz offers you a few tips on how to secure the perfect Christmas tree this season.
What Size Christmas Tree Should You Buy?
Despite the Asian tendency to compete over bigger and better, selecting the right tree that will fit perfectly in your living space is a must.
Survey your home and decide where the tree will sit. Either in the corner of your living room, or the centre of your hallway. Work out how much space your tree will take up.
As size does inevitably matter in Asian households, the tallest tree you can opt for should still allow a minimum of 6 inches to 1.5 ft of space between the tip of your tree and the ceiling.
For example if you have an 8 ft (243 cm) ceiling, go for a 7.5 ft tree. This should comfortably accommodate the tree stand and topper.
Also consider the width and diameter of the tree and if it is in danger of touching furniture.
Measure the diameter of your designated space, and again aim for a tree that is 3-6 inches less than this, allowing a cushion of space between the tree and the walls or other furniture.
Jay from Handsworth says: “I’ve been to Asian household where the tree is way too big for the room, there’s no space for anything else.”
Make sure you select a tree that is the right shape and size for your living space, before going supersize (10-12 ft).
You can go for the standard ‘full’ shape or alternatively opt for ‘narrow’ trees if you have limited space to play with.
Real vs Artificial ~ Making the Right Choice
The debate for real pine versus fake pine has been ongoing for many years. But essentially, real vs artificial trees really come down to preference.
Here are a few Pros and Cons of a Real Christmas tree:
- With the smell of fresh pine wafting through the house, you really get the sense of enjoying a ‘proper’ Christmas.
- Real Christmas trees are quite environmentally friendly compared to PVC plastic ones (if you ignore the sense of cutting down a living tree each year for a month of enjoyment). They remove carbon dioxide from the air while growing.
- After Christmas, most of these trees are recycled (via ‘treecycling’). This is where the trees are shredded and their chippings are used for gardening and environmental uses.
- Be prepared to be vacuuming up pine needles everyday as your tree will shed regularly.
- It can be costly to buy a new tree year on year.
- There is a definite sense of guilt that surrounds buying a newly chopped down tree each year. Each Christmas tree takes 10-12 years to grow to the correct shape and size.
Here are a few Pros and Cons of a Artificial Christmas tree:
- Cheaper in the long run as you don’t have to buy a new tree each year.
- They are less messy, and easy to install.
- They come in all shapes and sizes, even pre-decorated with fake snow and glitter to your preference.
- Some hardcore Christmas supporters don’t believe fake trees are as good as the real thing.
- They are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which means that they are a non-recyclable and non-biodegradable plastic.
If you do decide on a real tree, here are a few points of care to consider:
- When you first bring the tree home, chop off the bottom few centimetres of the trunk and leave in a bucket of water overnight. This will leave it fresh for longer.
- Fill the tree stand with water and keep this filled for as long as you use it.
- Keep your tree away from direct heat or heaters.
- Only use LED lights on your tree. Remember, if you keep lights on all the time, your tree will dry out quicker.
Tips for Buying the Perfect Christmas Tree
- Buy a real tree that has dark green needles as opposed to pale and dry. They should be waxy to the touch.
- The Nordmann fir doesn’t shed its needles and this makes it the most popular Christmas tree to buy. Go for a variety that has a low needle drop.
- Avoid pre-wrapped trees where the branches might be stuck out at weird angles.
- If you want to give the illusion of bigger presents this year, go for a smaller Christmas tree!
Buying the perfect Christmas tree needn’t be a hassle. Follow our tips, and enjoy a great festive holiday!